This great history starts with a survey of Christianity, then continues with an exploration of the "dark ages" following the fall of Rome, before proceeding with an explanation of how Europe coped with, and absorbed, the barbarians who overran the Empire. It goes on to trace the development of feudalism and Islam, and describes the harrowing survival of Byzantium throughout the brutal chaos that swirled about the Eastern Roman Empire during the 9th and 10th centuries. Discover how national monarchies and the modern nation state came into being, how the West responded to the Islamic invasions, and how Christianity penetrated into the farthest reaches of Northern Europe. Understand the dramatic repercussions of the Great Schism in Christianity and how economic change in the West almost destroyed the church. Finally, discover the events which gave rise to the magnificent flowering of the Gothic Age and the explosion of knowledge which subsequently paved the way for the Renaissance. The Middle Ages were the precursor to everything which we in the west consider "modern." This beautifully written history tells you why.
© and (P)2004 Audio Connoisseur
A really good listen, both informative and well-structured. It seems largely even-handed, without particular bias, and provides a very useful backdrop against which to understand many of today's political tensions. The narrator is excellent, despite a some eccentric pronounciations - for instance, he'd undoubtedly refer to an account of a perenially mislaid military pooch as a chopter on an orficer's orfen lawng lorst dorg. Finally, this is a long (lawng) book, but stands up well to being stretched out over an extended period, interspersed with other audiobooks, as it's easy to pick up the story again.
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